Global People Team Update

June 17, 2020

heidi capozzi

I’ve been with McDonald’s for eight weeks now, and it’s been humbling and energizing to see our System’s passion and commitment to the values that have been our guide since the days of Ray Kroc and Fred Turner. I’ve seen the business respond to the needs of communities around the world in unprecedented ways. And, I’ve experienced your determination to make an even deeper impact as one System of franchisees, supplier partners and company employees. 

As I continue to listen and learn from all of you, I’d like to share a few developments taking place within the Global People organization.

Melissa Kersey, Chief People Officer, McDonald’s USA, has decided to leave McDonald’s to move on to her next challenge. Melissa has been a critical driver of our People function in the U.S., and her commitment to People has shown up in so many ways. Her work to grow our restaurant staffing through world-class recruitment technology expanded our labor pool and helped McDonald’s become more competitive in the U.S. She also launched the U.S. Diversity Strategy, which focused on improving our talent pipeline and creating a more diverse workforce. In addition, she has been an incredible resource in sharing her deep knowledge of the U.S. business as I’ve continued to on-board. On behalf of everyone at McDonald’s, we thank her for her contributions and wish her every success for the future. 

I am pleased to announce the promotions of two respected leaders in our talent pipeline, Melanie Steinbach and Shammara Howell, who will support our continued growth as a function as we work to evolve alongside the business.

Melanie Steinbach, currently Vice President and Global Chief Talent Officer, has been promoted and will step into the role of Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, McDonald’s USA. 

Melanie is an accomplished business executive who cares deeply about people. Her work fostering an environment for diverse, global talent to thrive has been critical in supporting McDonald’s strategy evolution and growth. For the past three years, Melanie’s focus has been on redesigning the company’s approach to talent management and deploying those changes worldwide. This builds on her deep experience before McDonald’s as a Chief Human Resources Officer and from 15 years in global search firms where she was responsible for solving business problems through talent in the consumer, retail and marketing sectors. 

These experiences will be invaluable as Melanie joins the U.S. market with a focus on further supporting and developing our people. Joe worked closely with Melanie when he was running our International Operated Markets (IOM) and values her talent-driven perspective on the business, strong strategic focus on a few critical things and commitment to the Brand. She’s eager to spend more time with our U.S. franchisees and continue the strong partnership in support of our most important resource – our people.

With Melanie’s appointment, Shammara Howell has been promoted to Vice President and Global Chief Talent Officer. Shammara will assume responsibilities for Talent Attraction, Organizational Design, Talent (Global Functions, U.S. and International) and Talent Strategy. Shammara’s McDonald’s experience as Senior Director, Center HR for the global functions – alongside her deep outside perspective – will be a strong asset to the People team as we advance our global talent objectives. 

These are exciting developments as we continue to tap into our pipeline of talent and refine our People strategy to fit the evolving needs of the business and regain momentum.

The People team also has an incredibly important responsibility to drive our culture and embed our values in a way that makes McDonald’s a great place to work, supports you, and embodies our responsibility as a Brand that pushes for positive change in the world. Those efforts are more important than ever, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue across the System and working closely with Melanie, Shammara and the entire People team to ensure our values are responsive to today’s environment. 

These leadership changes are effective July 1. In the meantime, Melissa, Melanie and Shammara will work closely together to ensure seamless transitions. Please join me in congratulating Melanie and Shammara on their new roles and wishing Melissa all the best.


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